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Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes Given Mature ESRB Rating

by on January 7, 2014

Given the Metal Gear series’ penchant for violence and sexism, it will come as no surprise to see that the American ESRB ratings board have given Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes a Mature rating.

Normally, this wouldn’t pique much interest, but it’s the following ESRB summary that has raised a few eyebrows (via Destructoid):

This is an action game in which players assume the role of an elite soldier through military missions in Cuba. Players infiltrate various bases and use pistols, machine guns, and rocket launchers to kill enemy soldiers. Firefights are highlighted by realistic gunfire, slow-motion effects, and large blood-splatter effects. Players can also employ stealth attacks (e.g., choking, knife stabbing from behind) and have the ability kill non-adversary characters/prisoners. One cutscene includes a depiction of blood and gore (e.g., a character’s intestines exposed during a dramatic procedure to remove an object). The game includes an audio file in which a female character is sexually assaulted by male characters; while there is no visual depiction, sounds of ripped clothing and struggle can be heard. The words “f**k” and “sh*t” are heard in the dialogue.

As you can see, there are some very edgy elements to this latest Metal Gear game, especially the last sentence. Sexual assault is a topic that other forms of media have covered in the past, and it’s inclusion in such a popular game could prove to be a controversial decision by Kojima Productions.

Considering the series’ portrayal of women up until now, it is incredibly difficult to believe that this horrific subject will be portrayed in a respectful way. However, this summary doesn’t quite give us the exact context of the scene in question, other than it’s an audio file, so it is too soon for anyone to make judgements.